NASA remasters Voyager 1's famous 'Pale Blue Dot' image

We're small, but glorious.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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NASA took a fresh look at Voyager 1's 1990 "Pale Blue Dot" image showing Earth as a tiny speck in space.


Earth occupies a tiny speck of space in a wide, wild universe. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft gifted us with a mind-altering perspective on our planet back on Feb. 14, 1990, when it snapped a distant picture of home.

The haunting view shows Earth as a tiny spot with sun rays dashing across the frame. The spacecraft, which launched in 1977, was 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) from the sun at the time.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the image, NASA revisited the picture that became known as the "Pale Blue Dot." "The updated image uses modern image-processing software and techniques while respecting the intent of those who planned the image," said NASA on Wednesday.

NASA turned off Voyager 1's camera system to save power shortly after snapping a series of images called the "Family Portrait of the Solar System." All these years later, Voyager is still exploring the universe. It crossed over into interstellar space in 2012.

The "Pale Blue Dot" moniker came from astronomer Carl Sagan and his 1994 book of the same name. "That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives," Sagan wrote.

That's worth a few moments of reflection all these years later.

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